Inquiry Institute; Great results begin with great questions.

Question Thinking for Coaches

Powerful, wise and skillful question asking is the heart and soul of coaching. I once titled a book chapter, “With Our Questions We Make the World” and I continue to find this to be so true. I’m sure that’s why I love coaching and why the principles, values, and methods of coaching resonate so deeply for me.

  • Coaches ask questions that guide their coaching clients to discover their own best and most authentic answers, whether the area of focus is professional or personal.
  • Operating out of an inquiring mindset, coaches model a way of being and relating based on curiosity, caring and commitment to their clients’ success and satisfaction.
  • The listening of coaches is shaped by the questions they listen with, such as, “What is the best strength and possibility in what he or she is saying?” and “How can we build upon that?”

For me, the power of questions is expressed not only in how people speak, but also in how they think and listen. I call this Question Thinking, which refers to the questions we ask ourselves that are the basis of what’s often termed self-talk or internal dialogue. These self-questions also drive how we think, behave, and relate. Of course, this has a significant impact on the results we’re able to accomplish.

Additionally, coaches can use the methods of Question Thinking to teach their coaching clients skills of personal effectiveness to last for a lifetime. That’s why learning to distinguish between one’s Learner questions and Judger questions (Learner mindset and Judger mindset) is so empowering and liberating; it provides a method for choosing where we “come from” — moment by moment — for coaches and clients alike. While the Learner Mindset is the coaching mindset, it’s also the case that the Learner mindset is the true success mindset.

For additional coach training in Question Thinking, click here.